The great philosopher Ludacris once asked, “What’s your fantasy?”
Our panel, Mx. Maya, education coordinator at Twisted Tryst; Caitlin V. Neal, sex and relationship coach; and Brandon Hunter-Haydon, sex-positive psychotherapist, discuss how to make your fantasies reality—or not. Therapist Carrie Jameson shares details about how to find a therapist cool with kink. And host Karen Yates’ Sermon on the Pubic Mound® about getting erotically comfortable with yourself.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#10 | Fantasy and Taboo
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Mx. Maya: I really love talking with my friends about fantasies and our sex lives, and we can almost build new fantasies together.
Caitlin V: I think there's a lot of value in sharing your fantasy with your partner, without the expectation that the two of you are going to actually enact it.
Carrie Jameson: I've had people who are pregnant that want to keep doing some BDSM activities. So, finding the right doctor, the doctor who's just not going to say, "Stop doing everything," but maybe help them find safe ways to do it, is really important.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime®, a sexy spin on infotainment, no matter your preferences, orientation or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity, with spicy additions from storytellers and musicians. I'm Karen Yates. In today's episode, fantasy and taboo. Our panel discusses. And sex-positive therapist Carrie Jameson explains kink guidelines for therapists and medical professional,s and what that means for you. Plus my Sermon on the Pubic Mound® about sexy Peruvian pottery. Keep listening. Wild & Sublime is sponsored in part by Uberlube, long-lasting silicone lubricant for sex, sport and style. I highly recommend it. Ggo to Uberlube dot com.
[music out] Therapist Carrie Jameson was on episode 5 of this podcast. And if you heard that interview, you'll remember me saying afterwards that I really wanted to invite her back on the show to talk about the kink guidelines for therapists that she had helped create. And so she's back here today, and that is what we will be discussing. Now, when I do a new interview, I like to go into the backlog of live Wild & Sublime shows that we've done in the past, and see what would pair nicely with whatever new segment is being produced. And I thought that the second show we ever did, back in November of 2018, on taboo, would be a good selection. Because if you think about it, by its very nature, taboo and kink go hand in hand. But as you'll hear later in this interview with Carrie ,the definition of kinky is a pretty broad one. So we'll start with the panel discussion, recorded at Stage 773 in Chicago, which also includes a great audience Q&A. This discussion has been edited, due to some audio issues that we had with the microphones. In this first selection, we'll hear Mx. Maya, education coordinator for Twisted Tryst, the Midwest's kinky summer camp for adults, followed by sex and relationship coach Caitlin V Neal. Have a listen.
[in front of live audience] Are all fantasies based in taboo?
Mx. Maya: I think yes. I have a theory. It's that doing something that is just something a little bit out of the ordinary, that maybe you wouldn't want your mom or your friend to know, is part of the fun of it. I even kind of— At least for me, it goes back to stealing that cookie before dinner that you're not supposed to, or things like that. Getting that little bit of excitement thrill, of doing something that's forbidden.
Caitlin V: I really enjoyed this question. I think the answer is: sometimes. What I came to realize is that my most common fantasies — they are taboo, but they're not necessarily sexual. I have a very rich fantasy life. It mostly involves me smacking strangers when they're being rude to people. Like, "I can't believe you said that to the barista!" That's my fantasy world. It's really , yeah. It is hot, thank you. It is taboo, though, right? You can't go up and smack a stranger.
Mx. Maya: Or can you?
Caitlin V: It would be taboo to not ask for their consent first. [laughter] So I guess yes, many of them are taboo, and some of the sexual ones are also taboo, but I think that there's a deep connection between fantasizing and having a visual or imaginative experience about reality in general.
Karen Yates: So what happens when people are too afraid? What would y'all say to folks who are like, "I couldn't possibly do this"?
Caitlin V: Well, I'm a coach, so I would say, "That's a story." Because you can. Because everyone can. And in the spirit of moving toward integration, it doesn't have to be a massive step. When we think about what it would be like. Because our challenge is to live our fantasy, right? It wouldn't mean going out and buying a whole wardrobe of new clothes that fit our fantasy. That doesn't mean investing a lot of money in specialized sex toys, or equipment, or materials, right? It can mean developing a character in your journal. And it can mean naming yourself. It can mean just embodying something every so often. It can be playing and make-believe. We tend to have this idea that because this is a part of us often that we have disowned, that any attention given to it, any space given to it, is automatically going to mean that we are now all that, and there's no going back.
Mx. Maya: Although I do think that sometimes it becomes that. And I have definitely seen some folks after a while, this was certainly the case for me, the kind of persona that you put on once in a while almost becomes more yourself than the person you are in everyday life. I remember being so terrified to even admit to my partner like, "Hey, I maybe want you to slap my face during sex." And being so scared to say that, and admit that I want that. And even more horrified to realize later, like, "I really want to hit my partner." I really want to punch them real good in the sternum, and get that nice rib thud. I want that. [audience applause] I want that. But realizing, okay, starting really small. Maybe just like, one time. Okay, that was really cool. Like, let's see how it feels to do that again. Slowly, over time, becoming much more comfortable with that and realizing like, Oh, this is really important to me, this is integral to something, it's a key to myself, my sexuality. It's somehow important to me and the world that I wanted to be in more and more and more of the time. It definitely became more real-feeling than the person that I am when I go to work from nine to five.
Karen Yates: So, Caitlin, you're a regular attendee of Burning Man. And Maya, you are coordinator for Twisted Tryst, which is a yearly — twice during the summer — camping event that has a lot of kink attached to it. Can you two talk about process and like, do you see folks showing up one year and they're kind of at one place, and then like, the next year, they're like, deeper in, or...? What's your experience of events, and living taboo, or embracing it?
Mx. Maya: I would say that, first of all, it varies with where you are, when you come to the event, right? If it's your first time, being in a place where it's okay to be naked in public, it's going to feel really scary to be naked in public. And if it's your first time going to this particular event, but you're totally cool, like, fucking and playing and being naked in public, then you're — I see those folks dive in a lot more easily. But people's interaction and engagement with that fantasy absolutely changes from day to day, and then from year to year. You know, it's an event that's really immersive, and so, day two can feel like you've been there a week, and you've made the best friends that you'll ever have in your entire life. And then I see a lot of folks coming back to the event year after year, because these people are people that they may see twice a year, but they are some of their closest friends, I've gone to the Tryst for seven years now, and I say that, you know, it's a party of 350 of my closest friends.
Caitlin V: I think there's such an important time element. You know, as you said, especially if you're in an immersive environment, like Burning Man is, where you don't even have cell phone reception, you're so much a part of what is happening immediately in front of you. And, like, part of having an event year over year is that you get to take one step at a time. You get to like, dip your toes in the pool, and then put a foot in. And I think that a big part of fantasizing, or at least like, creating a persona that allows us to actually live out a fantasy is almost like a layer — like peeling back layers, right? It's more about remembering a piece of us that we have disowned. And it helps to have time to go back and peel back another layer, and not feel so much like we have to bite it off all at once. It also gives us an opportunity to let something new emerge slowly over time, just like identity really truly forms for us. Or our other identities form over time, through a series of interactions, a series of mistakes and blunders, a series of successes and repeating events, and feeling like you don't have to accomplish all of it at once, gives you a lot more space to like, bloom into the persona that is going to serve you best and let you explore something.
Karen Yates: You'll hear the Q&A portion in a moment. But first, you may recall from Episode Six that as bonus content on our Patreon site, we have included a segment we did last year about Twisted Tryst, the kinky adult summer camp Mx. Maya just talked about. We go on an imaginary walking tour with Maya that paints a pretty comprehensive and detailed picture of all the activities available to the kinky campers. That bonus segment never to grace the podcast is available at the $10 a month level right now. Check out our Patreon site and consider joining our membership program to support our podcast and connect to us. Even at the $5 a month level, you'll get discounts, behind the scenes info, and more, including some upcoming announcements. The link is in our show notes.
Now, for the Q&A portion of that November 2018 show, the audience wrote down anonymous questions, which I then read aloud. You'll also hear therapist Brandon Hunter-Haydon, our third panelist. His mic was having some issues that evening, but I did want to include what he said. Enjoy.
[reading] "Tips for overcoming shyness and introversion to live my fantasy?"
Mx. Maya: So, one thing that I've seen folks do — and you can find many of them online, there are some great resources I'm sure somebody here would be happy to direct you to — is: you can find some checklists of things that you might be interested in, and you can fill them out on your own and share them with a partner. And some of them are everything from, "I might be interested in giving you oral sex" to, "I might be interested in being tied up," or "I might be interested in dominance and submission." There's a lot of room for variation. And they can be really fun to kind of fill out and share it with a partner. They can also be really fun to kind of look at and think about your own personal checklist of "just for me." What is it that I'm actually into? Am I really interested in any of these things? I might not have thought of them before. But that can sometimes take away that fear, of "oh my gosh, I don't really know how to say the words."
Caitlin V: And small doses. A little bit at a time.
Karen Yates: But what if someone wants to like, go to an event and dress up and be a puppy? Or like, what do you do... Like, what do you do for something that needs to have like, participation, maybe with a collection of people?
Brandon Hunter-Haydon: Well, I think if... Discussing risk and being real about that, around where you're at and where you want to be at the event, the occasion, is so important. And there's actually a great workbook, called "The Conscious Sexual Self Workbook." It's really great. But I think part of it is getting in touch with — giving yourself permission to get in touch with the way you want to feel. There's a felt sense we feel in our body, we have an image of it in our imagination. We can channel all of our experience.
Caitlin V: And I would add, find a mentor. So, if you want to go experience something like being a puppy at a party, you know, naturally you'd like to have an opportunity to ask what kinds of things might come up that you haven't yet anticipated. And if you are willing to go and ask someone if it's okay for them to share their experience with you in advance of you taking bigger, larger, and more vulnerable steps into that space, I think it's really great to build a support network, even if it's just one person at a time, to be behind you and support you as you enter into these new [indiscernible]. Sometimes really scary territory.
Karen Yates: Right. “How to discover new fantasies?”
Mx. Maya: I really love talking with my friends about fantasies and our sex lives. I find that it is the best way to kind of, A., get to know my friends a little bit better, in a more interesting environment, but also, there's so many interesting things that I would never have thought of. And we can kind of almost build new fantasies together sometimes. I had a friend — I have a partner who gave a partner of his, my metamor, an enema with glitter. Not something I would have thought about, but she really wanted to shit glitter like a unicorn.
Caitlin V: Same.
Mx. Maya: All right. [audience laughter] So maybe somebody tonight in this audience just found out that they're into shitting glitter like a unicorn. One up for pony play, unicorn play. Talking with people, looking up different things online, finding new and interesting forms of porn, finding some interesting checklists of just weird things that you might not have known you were into, but strike a chord within you.
Karen Yates: Next question. "I'm afraid my partner will be horrified by my fantasy. It's a doable fantasy, but there's no way he will consent to it, I'm sure." [big pause]
Caitlin V: That's a difficult situation. And I feel for whoever wrote this question. I think there's a lot of value in sharing your fantasy with your partner. And there's a huge distinction between speaking your fantasy into reality and acting it into reality. Perhaps you can cross that bridge by sharing what your fantasy is, without the expectation that the two of you are going to actually enact it, and see what comes up. Their reaction might be different than what you're expecting; it might be the same as what you're expecting. But bringing it up in conversation is certainly the first step to perhaps eventually making it happen.
Mx. Maya: I will also say, it sounds like you definitely want to enact your fantasy. Sometimes our fantasies are also allowed to be just our own. I have fantasies that I masturbate to that I don't share with my partners, that I probably wouldn't want to act out. They can still be mine, they can still be my fantasy, they're still equally valid, even if I don't share them. So, I think that there's also this question of, you know, do I want my fantasy to stay mine? Or do I want to share it? Is the barrier my partner's acceptance of that fantasy or our discussion of it, or is the barrier that I don't actually want to share it?
Brandon Hunter-Haydon: Again, riffing off of what these two folks have said so wonderfully, is that, to share those things, it's not the same as trying to recruit somebody for that. It's really an act of bravery, to intimacy on that level, to expose oneself in that way. And if it can be done in a way — this is what a lot of the time, when I see couples and relationships who come in, the burden of a secret really bears itself out in so many ways. But once they get a chance to express it, the thing that's underneath that is that they want to be known by their partner. And just having that part known and held by the partner, in a way that can maybe ameliorate shame that they've been carrying for decades, is such an act of intimacy, and that alone is worth the fire. Whether or not they ever act it out. So that's possible.
Karen Yates: Great. Thank you.
For more information on our guests, go to our show notes, including a link to a yes-no-maybe list, like the one Maya talked about. The book Brandon mentioned, “The Conscious Sexual Self Workbook” is available through our affiliate link to Bookshop. by purchasing through Bookshop, you'll be helping both independent booksellers and Wild & Sublime.
Carrie Jameson is a Chicago-based psychotherapist who focuses on diverse sexuality populations. She appeared earlier on our show, a couple weeks ago, to talk about saying no and hearing no from partners. We got great feedback on that segment, and I wanted to bring her back on, since she is a member of the Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines team, a group of folks that put together a document that has been developed to help therapists and medical professionals become more aware of the kink community. Today's conversation might be helpful as you go about looking for a new therapist, or re-evaluating the therapeutic relationship you might be in currently. Hello, Carrie. Welcome to the show.
Carrie Jameson: Hi, Karen. Thanks for having me.
Karen Yates: So Carrie, what are the kink clinical practice guidelines, and why did they come about?
Carrie Jameson: The practice guidelines are — they're geared towards practitioners. So therapists, other providers — but they're for anybody that is involved in kink activities. And that can be defined very broadly or very loosely. People have been talking about putting together these guidelines for years. I think they started about a decade ago, actually looking at what do we need to do to start putting guidelines together for therapists, so that people who were involved with kink could comfortably go to a therapist and feel like the therapist had enough knowledge, and wouldn't pathologize them just because of their sexual or relationship-orientation interests.
Karen Yates: Right. And I think it was reading in the literature that part of this really got turbocharged because of the general cultural interest in the United States around kink.
Carrie Jameson: Yeah, absolutely. In the last 10 years. It's been pretty amazing. So people have been starting — people have started to talk about BDSM more. People are more comfortable, in some cases, sharing their BDSM interests. So the whole — as problematic as "50 Shades of Grey" has been In terms of consent and the depiction it gave in popular literature, it freed people up to talk about it more. There's a lot more groups of people that are doing research on kink and kink sexualities, where before there was a big void on that.
Karen Yates: And we're going to talk a little bit more later in this interview about trauma and kink, and about the mis-assumptions about that. But before we begin, I wanted to define kink as it is. I'm going to read from the guidelines, because I think folks think it's only BDSM. And it says here "We conceptualize kink as sexual identities, erotic behaviors, and sexual interests and fantasies, relationship identities, relationship orientations, and relationship structures between consenting adults not accepted by dominant culture." That is very, very broad.
Carrie Jameson: It is.
Karen Yates: And that encompasses like, way more people than I think, folks think it encompasses.
Carrie Jameson: [quiet laugh] We worked a long time on that.
Karen Yates: I bet you did! [laughs] Like how many people...? So yeah, this — this brings up a point. How many people worked on this on this document?
Carrie Jameson: 15, 20 people that have had their hands in it. And like, a core group that started it. I became involved, like, midway through, I think. Midway through the last half of it, or last few years of it, which I was very honored and happy to — and proud of what we put together. But yeah, there was a lot of people. And like, wanting to get that definition right, or as close as possible, to be inclusive. Because there are some people that might do things that say, for example, you or I might consider kinky, but they don't. But to have a space for a range of sexuality expressions — and I'm hesitant in using "sexuality," because we also used "erotic" as a more fuller experience. Because it's not always about sex for people. We wanted to kind of cover this entire landscape.
Karen Yates: You're actually helping me at this moment. Because on the show, I'm very clear that sex isn't — doesn't necessarily encompass what kink is. And so I've been using like, "sex and sensation," but I like this idea of erotic, and the word erotic, because that really covers everything. Because sometimes it's not even about sensation, because sometimes people aren't even being touched, so it doesn't — anything. So before we talk about the team a little bit more, I want to get back to this thing of "what is kink?" And I wanted to read some of the statistics that are in the guidelines about the umbrella term "kink." So approximately 45 to 60% of people in the general population report having fantasies that involve some aspect of dominance and submission. 10% of the general population has engaged in kink and kink behaviors at some point in their life. Now, 1 to 2% of the general population holds an identity centered on their kink sexuality. But then, let's see... 15% of folks have been playfully whipped or have been whipped — have been whipped or have whipped over the course of their lifetime. 21% of people have included bondage, listed bondage a sexual behaviors. And then there's things such as hair pulling, spanking, blindfolds, scratching, biting, dominance and submission, role playing, and that are — you know, they're, you could say, kinky, but also a lot of folks have engaged in this. So I think it's really great that you've made this a very, very broad term, because it includes a lot of people.
Carrie Jameson: Mmhmm. Absolutely. And this, again, goes to that point of what, you know, some people — that person who likes their hair pulled during sex might not think of that as something that's kinky, but another person might name it is that. And as a therapist, I don't want to judge that. I'm going to go with whatever label they have for it. And, you know, if it doesn't disturb them, it's probably — it might not even be relevant to the therapy. So there's another piece of this that maybe — we might get to this later. But in terms of people's identities or orientations, or how they view their kink involvement, sometimes it's not even relative to the therapy. And so as for the therapist, I want to have an affirming space where they can just talk about their conflict at work, right? Or their anxiety and navigating a particular life situation that may not have anything to do with what they do with kink.
Karen Yates: Right. So what happens, and what have you heard about, from either clients that have come to you, from other therapeutic relationships or, you know, things that you have heard about in the field of, you know, people going to therapists who aren't kink informed? And either they are actively involved in kink lifestyles, or they're just beginning having a burgeoning sense that they might be kinky? What are some of the more negative experiences that can happen to people who are dealing with therapists that aren't particularly kink informed?
Carrie Jameson: Well, I mean, I think it ranges. So some therapists, I have heard stories of people saying, Yeah, my therapist didn't really know anything about this, but they seemed cool with what I was sharing with them. A lot of people just don't talk about it with their therapist. And that's a problem because therapy is a place where ideally, it's safe for you to bring the fullness of yourself. One of the ways I look at it is, all of you is welcome here. And so if somebody is walling off a part of themselves, it actually can impact the therapy in a way. So that's kind of like, just from the client perspective: I'm afraid this isn't going to be received well, and I'm worried about judgment or being rejected or abandoned. And so I'm not going to bring this in. What I hear often from clients that are coming to see me, or I'll see referrals coming around, people are looking for a kink-knowledgeable or affirming therapist, is that somebody has had bad experiences with therapists before, where the therapists pathologize them. So by that, essentially said, Well, these are your problems, because you're doing this XYZ behavior, or you're in this XYZ type of relationship. Or if somebody has had trauma in the background, the therapist links it automatically with the trauma, which can be very negative in terms of healing from past trauma. Sometimes, like another way a therapist may be open, but if they don't have a lot of knowledge about kink, they're relying on their client to educate them. And for some clients, that can then become burdensome. That they have to educate the therapist enough, to the point that they feel like they're not getting the fullness of their time or attention.
Karen Yates: Yeah, it's kind of like — because this guideline clearly states that, you know, anytime you're dealing with a sexual population that's not part of dominant culture, you're basically dealing with an oppressed population. And this is such a part of oppressed populations' story right now, which is this, like, "I can't be the teacher in, you know, helping you see your privilege, or helping you see your rank." And this just seems to tie right back into that same idea and dynamic.
Carrie Jameson: Absolutely. And then, to magnify that by an exponential portion, if the client is a member of any marginalized population. So say, for example, if it's a black female talking about their kink interest, that can be a much— and say they're working with a white therapist, right? That can be a much higher risk to them, in terms of how it's perceived. Does the therapist also have some racial bias going on? Do they have a kink bias going on? So like, the stakes get elevated, and that's with any of the things. So, race, class, ability, disability, like anything that would come up that way. Gender, sexual orientation, even. So I just always keep in mind, anybody that's any member of a marginalized population, when we add something else on it, it gets magnified.
Karen Yates: One thing that I really liked, and sorry for interrupting, is that the team involved, the 15 to 20 folks that are involved in this, putting together this guidelines, they're — it's a hugely diverse population of therapists and sex educators. I was pretty amazed that it was like, wow, this is a great, great list of people.
Carrie Jameson: And that was intentional.
Karen Yates: Of course. That was wonderful. Yeah, I'm getting to this idea of, of trauma and kink, and I'm sure it's something that we'll explore later, in other episodes. I think we need to be super clear: Trauma and kink are not inextricably linked. Would you like to say some things about that?
Carrie Jameson: Yes! I will say yes. That's the biggest myth, I think, that people have about — if you do these activities, that must come from trauma, or you must have had some trauma in the past. Every once in a while, I'll randomly engage somebody in conversation like this. Like, nobody — sitting in a bar, for example. And like, it's generally pretty shocking to me. And I do that for a reason, because I want to know what people outside of my bubble are thinking about this. And it's not science. It's not a scientific study by any means. But I think clients sometimes walk in with that, and they think, like, "Am I this way? Do I have these kink interests? And am I this way, because I had this trauma in my background?" Because sometimes things might look alike. And what the studies have shown is, there's no higher incidence of trauma with kink-involved people than they are with the general population. I mean, the reality is, we have a lot of trauma in our population, and a lot of sexual trauma. And so, people — and these are also people that are more likely to go to therapy, because they're healing from their trauma, or trying to heal from their trauma, or dealing with the after-effects of their trauma. So, the studies pretty consistently show that there's not a link to past trauma in terms of prevalence of kink, and also that people involved with kink, in general, operate at the same level of mental health functioning as the general population. There's been some studies actually showing higher levels of mental health functioning. But overall, pretty much at parity. And so I think, that myth out there is, well, there's something psychologically wrong.
Karen Yates: How does — well, one thing I wanted to talk about was the nuance of understanding, and you brought it up a little bit earlier, the nuance actually between if trauma is happening in, say, a relationship, that might not have actually anything to — like, if there's a traumatic, violent aspect to a relationship that the client is going through, that might not have anything to do with the kink itself. And it's like, understanding that that's the dynamic for this particular... That this client needs to work on. But it has nothing to do with the fact that this client is indeed kinky.
Carrie Jameson: Right. So a client can identify as kinky, for example, whatever that means to them, and be in a relationship that's abusive and not healthy. Right. So again, abuse happens in kinky relationships, but again, at not any higher level of prevalence than non-kink relationships — again, however that's defined. So part of being a kink-aware therapist, sometimes my job is helping my client discern, especially if they're newer to kink, like, Is this okay? Or is this abusive? And help them navigate that, in terms of what's happening for them. Because generally, if somebody is questioning is this abusive, there's a problem in the relationship. So my job is to help them navigate that, and help them work on whatever boundaries they might need to set, or communication skills, or advocate for themselves, or get other resources online for them. So that they can feel empowered to take control of their self and their relationship, and what works for them.
Karen Yates: So what about medical personnel? I know this is mostly for therapists, but do you think doctors and medical personnel need to be more informed around kink practices?
Carrie Jameson: In my opinion, 100% yes. So that would be something I would love to see. I've done a little bit of training here in Chicago with some medical professionals, some doctors, and it's been incredibly rewarding for me. Because I know clients are often afraid to go to the doctor, or they're afraid to tell their doctor about some of their practices. So as soon as somebody is withholding information from a medical professional, they're essentially like, blocking that person from being able to do their job. But also there's a safety aspect, that they're afraid they're going to be judged — or worst case, like if they're in a hospital, and they had an accident, or something happened during a scene, for example, where somebody got hurt, and they're gonna think, "Oh, this person is gonna think my partner's abusing me." That's a huge fear for people that might keep them from disclosing. And there's ways in which — like, I've had people who are pregnant, that like, this is just an example, that want to keep doing some BDSM activities. So, finding the right doctor, they can talk with, so the doctor's just not gonna say, "Stop doing everything," but maybe help them find safe ways to do it, is really important. Or if somebody has a physical limitation, a medical person can actually help you figure out safe ways to keep doing the things that you like doing. If they're open to having that conversation.
Karen Yates: Right. Now, is a medical personnel — I'm not really sure of the laws — are they required to report?
Carrie Jameson: I think that varies state by state, quite honestly. And in talking with doctors, they have a sense of it. So I mean, I think there's probably some somewhere that might just call, but hopefully others would talk with the patient, right? And get an assessment. Now I think as the patient, while it would be scary and vulnerable perhaps, it'd be important as the patient to be able to just clearly state, I'm involved in this kind of consensual activity. And hope that the doctor can hear that.
Karen Yates: What is the best way for a person looking for a therapist, looking for a doctor or a nurse to work with — what should folks be looking for, and what should they be asking?
Carrie Jameson: There's a whole list of providers, which you'll probably have, I'm guessing, in the resources section, from the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a kink-aware professional list. And so that's a great place to start, to just see who's listed there. But I think part of it is just like, asking, especially with a therapist, asking them if they have knowledge of this, if they're comfortable with having these conversations right up front. And seeing how the therapist answers. With medical professionals, I think the same thing. To ask the medical professional, "Here's some of the things I might want to talk about with you. Are you comfortable with doing that?" And I just want to acknowledge there's a big difference. Like, Karen, you and I are in Chicago, where there's a lot of medical professionals, and there's a lot of resources. And even that varies, depending on where you are in Chicago and the amount of socioeconomic resources you have. But if we start taking this out into smaller rural areas, that does get harder. So I just want to acknowledge that. I don't have a perfect solution for it. But I just want to acknowledge that there may just be one or two doctors in town. And that then makes it more difficult.
Karen Yates: Yeah. So what can therapists and doctors do to better educate themselves? In general, what is your best advice?
Carrie Jameson: Well, I love that we have the guidelines now. I think they're great. I think they're a great starting point for people to just look at them. I know they're long. It's like 50-some pages, I think, by the time it's done. And in there, we have some resources. So there's certainly the NCFS website, and there's some great books out there that people can look at. Sexual Outsiders I think is a fabulous book to look at, in terms of different ways to view kink and working with kink populations. And there's the Kink Knowledgeable site, which offers training for therapists. Attending trainings. Especially in the last four or five years, there's way more trainings available. So there's plenty of opportunities to network and get trained with other professionals.
Karen Yates: Anything else you'd like to add?
Carrie Jameson: It's very thorough, and covers a lot of ground. So it's a great place to go for a therapist, if they're wanting to — you can get some basic information. And from there, they can try to find groups. I think the other thing about therapists finding groups is, again, if you're in big cities, like Chicago, New York, or California, San Francisco, LA, there's probably groups that are already formed. And in some other cities, too — that's not an exhaustive list. [laughter] I don't want people to feel left out. But there's a lot more opportunity. And so, looking at, using the kink guidelines, I think are a great starting point for a medical provider to look at. And then to see, "Oh, where do I need help? Where do I need to go from here?"
Karen Yates: Great. Thanks so much, Carrie. I appreciate it. And of course, folks, a lot of links will be in the show notes. Thanks so much.
Carrie Jameson: Thank you.
Karen Yates: Wild & Sublime is also sponsored in part by our Sublime Supporter, Chicago-based Full Color Life Therapy, therapy for all of you, at fullcolorlifetherapy dot com. If you would like to be a Sublime Supporter, showcasing you and your business and supporting us at the same time, contact us at info at wildandsublime dot com. And now it's time for my Sermon on the Pubic Mound. This sermon is from the December 2019 show recorded at Stage 773 in Chicago. Enjoy.
[in front of audience] Since the beginning of time, people have had sex. And of course, that's why we're here. [laughter] People have sex. And they have explored so many myriad ways to enjoy themselves and explore their bodies. And right now in culture, some acts that we do are considered very niche. And some things are considered kinky. Like anal. Some people think anal is totally kinky, and some people don't. But it's definitely not conventional. But anal was really, really, really common in a bunch of cultures historically, like the Moche culture of Peru, which is a 700 year old culture. And we know that they were obsessed with anal because they left behind a bunch of clay pots that had sexual depictions on them, and almost all of them were depictions of anal sex, mostly involving men having anal sex. A couple of women. Now, the interesting thing about the women is that the women were having sex and also breastfeeding. So that's a very interesting thing. But it wasn't just the Moche culture. Herodotus was writing about Babylon, which was really the first big city on earth. And he wrote and reported that in Babylon, people loved golden showers. They loved being peed on, especially men. Men loved receiving golden showers, getting them, what have you. And also women. In fact, women in Babylon were completely sexually liberated. They could go around by themselves on the street, have sex with whomever they want, anal, vaginal — sex was happening everywhere. In fact, they had sex festivals in Babylon. And they frowned on people not having sex, being chaste. So, what is my point in bringing this up? It's that anything you're interested in doing probably has been done before, and in great measure. [audience laughter] What's kinky now was normal, quote-unquote, for someone, somewhere, at some time. So knowing that might come in handy when you're asking for something that might be construed as weird. That at some point, it was normal, and maybe even applauded. So, what happens if you're comfortable with the idea that what you want is okay, that it's normal for you? Now, your normal might not be someone else's normal, but once you accept your desire, it's a lot easier to ask for stuff. I mean, it's kind of like ice cream. If I ask a partner, "Hey, would you go to the store and get me a pint of Ben and Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio?" Which is my favorite Ben and Jerry's. And they say, "Pistachio Pistachio? That's weird." I'd be like, "No, it isn't. Get me a pint of Ben Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio." I wouldn't get triggered and be like [mimes weeping] Like "What do you mean?" Or "I like arugula.' "Oh, I don't, I don't like arugula!" "I love arugula." Or, "I hate eggplants." "I love eggplant!" Like, it's — we don't get triggered around these things, because they're just "whatever." So the other part of what I'm saying here is that you have the right to want what you want. Especially if it's at the core of your being. You know, years ago, I was — it took me a long time to realize that. I mean, a really long time. And I was sitting in a therapist's office, years and years ago. I was in a long term relationship, and I was talking to this therapist for the umpteenth time about how I wasn't getting this essential, essential need of mine met. And she said to me, almost casually, "Well, have you ever thought about leaving the relationship? Because it's perfectly acceptable to want what you want." And my first thought was, "Whaaaat?" Because I, at that point in my life, placed my needs, like, down here. And the coupleness, or the relationship, the value of for that was like, up here. And I couldn't reconcile the two. That my need was as important, if not more important than, the coupleness. But ultimately, I realized it had nothing to do with my partner. Like at all. It had nothing to do with my partner being like "No," or "Yes." It had everything to do with myself and my responsibility to myself, to make choices that continually take me down the road of happiness. Because if I'm happier, if I'm feeling balanced, that general serenity spills over to everyone around me, and culture in general. [applause] Thank you. So, I ask you: what happens if what you want is really, completely okay? And this isn't just about sex. This is about life stuff. I mean, sex is life, right? But it's about other stuff. It's like, what happens if you just really want to stay a barista at Starbucks? Like, you don't really want to leave? You don't want to aspire? What if you just really only want to have missionary sex? You don't want to get into anything else. What if you really, really want to be tied up? What happens if you get comfortable with yourself? That's really what it's about. Getting comfortable with yourself. Thank you, folks. [applause]
[music under] Next week: queer or gay? What's the difference? We'll have on Sarah Sloane to discuss What's Up with That? Plus a whole lot more. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. And please, if you like what you heard, give us a nice review on your podcast app. I'd like to thank Wild & Sublime associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme music by David Ben-Porat. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media at rebelliousmagazine dot com. Follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime dot com.
Want to rev up your relationship and bust out of limiting patterns?
Host Karen Yates is an intimacy coach and somatic sex educator who works with couples online and in person in Chicago to help improve their intimate communication and expand pleasure in a process that can be embodied, meaningful, and fun. Go to karen-yates.com and set up a free Zoom consultation and to download her free guide: Say It Better in Bed! 3 Practival Ways to Improve Intimate Communication.
- PANEL: “How do I live my fantasy?”
From the November 2018 live show
- INTERVIEW: Therapist Carrie Jameson about the development of kink practice guidelines for therapists
- SERMON ON THE PUBIC MOUND: Karen Yates on erotic pottery from the ancient world
From the December 2019 live show
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- Brandon Hunter-Haydon
- Caitlin V. Neal
- Twisted Tryst
- Yes No Maybe List
- Kink Clinical Practice Guidelines Project
- Kink And Poly Aware Professionals Directory
- Moche erotic pottery
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